The other day I was lucky enough to go to Daniel in Milan and to have my food bought for me.

Whilst anyone who knows me is fully aware of the fact that I am a rampant feminist, I let the bra-burner have the night off and chose instead to revel in my first real fine-dining experience.

Let me explain: this place is so high end, women and men are treated differently. Women are sat with their backs to the walls when possible. Men crown the heads of tables. Women are given menus in which the lovely creamy pages are unblemished by prices. Men are fully debriefed and left to pull nervously at their stiff collars, hoping that their darlings don't choose the truffle. Women always have their glasses filled first. Win for us. The restaurant is evidently set up to woo lucky ladies and probably get them into luxury-satin-sheeted beds. Win for them.

It was also posh enough for one of the chefs to take my coat as we came in. Being used to the Nandos of the world, I was so surprised and eager to play the part of rich client that I forgot to get my phone out of my pocket. And so, no pics of the fantastic six courses we munched our way through.

If you have €80 to spare, go to Daniel. I had fried polenta crisps, a selection of breads and breadsticks, a selection of canapes (all of this complimentary with a glass of prosecco) followed by risotto with cacio, pepper and mandarin (!), some kind of fish in broccoli cream with pink grapefruit, the most amazing dark chocolate and orange torte and then a celection of chocolates that were really more like insanely delicious canapes and surely designed to prevent any further eating.

I tried to persuade Magro to take photos for me but to no avail. So instead, here are my top 5 latest "common eats".

  1. The Working Lunch
    Once upon a time, I only got to eat pizza like this when I went to Pizza Express for a treat (usually a birthday or exam results). Now I get to pay €2.50 for this pizza, my trusty Diet Coke and a coffee. Every. Single. Day. (Except I don't because I don't want to have to buy an entire new wardrobe)
  2. The Best Veggie Burger in the World
    Baobab Organic Burger, Corso Garibaldi. It isn't on the menu (which is dominated by a myriad of fleshy options which I have heard are excellent) but ask for it - trust me. It is just beauty in a bun. I don't know what it's made of but I suspect chickpeas make an appearance and it's smothered in smokey cheese, avocado and tomatoes. Hell yes.
  3. The Unlimited Veggie Buffet
    Il Rifettorio in Milan's city centre is tucked away but worth finding. If you need a Saturday hangover cure, make sure you take advantage of the lunch menus. There are four options and all of them come with unlimited water, unlimited wine, bread, dessert and coffee. €8 gets you access to the veggie buffet which is delicious because Italians can turn water into wine. €12 (or thereabouts) gets you a pasta dish + the buffet, €18 gets you fish/meat + the buffet and €25 lets you go mad and have everything. Woo. Hoo.
  4. The Heart Attack on a Plate
    Spontini is the Milanese king of pizza al trancio or deep-pan to you and me. Don't be put off by the queues; you will be promptly whisked to a table and asked if you want "normale" (€5) or "abbondante" (€5.50). The normale is giant. The abbondante is like the normale except you have another half slice slapped on the side of your plate. Good luck.
  5. The Home Away from Home
    The California Bakery might be based on the cuisine  of America but there's nothing more English than taking tea and cake (albeit at 11pm). Open until midnight on Corso Como, the cakes are ridiculously good (if a little pricey). This sexy number set me back €10 but it was worth it. The Double Choco cake is a rich dark chocolate sponge, smothered in ganache and topped with strawberries but there are hidden veins of raspberry jam shot through it too. Miraculous with the Rouge Bourbon Vanille tea.
Any requests for restaurant reviews will be welcome. ;)